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[anti-spam-wg@localhost] SpamAssassin and this list

  • To: RIPE anti-spam WG < >
  • From: Rodney Tillotson < >
  • Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2003 16:27:37 +0000

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I have had discussions with RIPE NCC, who say that for some reason
this list gets more UBE attempts than most. They stop them, of course.

At present they use SpamAssassin to mark list messages for manual
checking, and they find this tedious; I am not surprised.
I propose that the list configuration is changed so that SpamAssassin
deletes any message it identifies as UBE and does _not_ attempt to
send a report to the message originator.

The obvious danger is of false positives; legitimate postings might
never reach the list and you would never know. RIPE NCC say that they
have never seen a message which SpamAssassin marked but which they
thought was valid when they looked at it, so I believe the risk is
acceptably low.

One situation in which false positives might arise on this particular
list (as with other anti-spam lists) is that someone posts a message
which includes a copy of some UBE for discussion or comment.
SpamAssassin is likely to score the included material and the report
may end up over the deletion threshold.
To reduce this particular risk I suggest that when we want to show the
list any abuse material we include only small fragments of it. Removing
or altering rude words, upper case and other easy indicators is also
good practice.

If you think this is a bad idea please write to me or to the list and
say so. Otherwise I will ask for UBE submissions to be dropped in a
few days' time.

Rodney Tillotson
+44 1235 822 255.

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